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Introduction 1
• Part 1: Getting Started With Microbiology 5
Chapter 1: Microbiology and You 7
Chapter 2: Microbiology: The Young Science 11
Chapter 3: Microbes: They’re Everywhere and They Can Do Everything 21
• Part 2: Balancing the Dynamics Of Microbial Life 29
Chapter 4: Understanding Cell Structure and Function 31
Chapter 5: Making Sense of Metabolism 49
Chapter 6: Getting the Gist of Microbial Genetics 67
Chapter 7: Measuring Microbial Growth 89
• Part 3: Sorting Out Microbial Diversity 103
Chapter 8: Appreciating Microbial Ancestry 105
Chapter 9: Harnessing Energy, Fixing Carbon 119
Chapter 10: Comparing Respiration and Fermentation 139
Chapter 11: Uncovering a Variety of Habitats 155
• Part 4: Meeting the Microbes 175
Chapter 12: Meet the Prokaryotes 177
Chapter 13: Say Hello to the Eukaryotes 195
Chapter 14: Examining the Vastness of Viruses 215
• Part 5: Seeing the Impact Of Microbes 233
Chapter 15: Understanding Microbes in Human Health and Disease 235
Chapter 16: Putting Microbes to Work: Biotechnology 257
Chapter 17: Fighting Microbial Diseases 279
• Part 6: New Frontiers in Microbiology 293
Chapter 18: Teasing Apart Communities 295
Chapter 19: Synthesizing Life 307
• Part 7: The Part of Tens 319
Chapter 20: Ten (or So) Diseases Caused by Microbes 321
Chapter 21: Ten Great Uses for Microbes 329
Chapter 22: Ten Great Uses for Microbiology 335

Microbiology is a fascinating field that explores life down to the tiniest level. Did you know that your body contains more bacteria cells than human cells? It's true. Microbes are essential to our everyday lives, from the food we eat to the very internal systems that keep us alive. These microbes include bacteria, algae, fungi, viruses, and nematodes. Without microbes, life on Earth would not survive. It's amazing to think that all life is so dependent on these microscopic creatures, but their impact on our future is even more astonishing. Microbes are the tools that allow us to engineer hardier crops, create better medicines, and fuel our technology in sustainable ways. Microbes may just help us save the world.
Microbiology For Dummies is your guide to understanding the fundamentals of this enormously-encompassing field. Whether your career plans include microbiology or another science or health specialty, you need to understand life at the cellular level before you can understand anything on the macro scale.

• Explore the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
• Understand the basics of cell function and metabolism
• Discover the differences between pathogenic and symbiotic relationships
• Study the mechanisms that keep different organisms active and alive

You need to know how cells work, how they get nutrients, and how they die. You need to know the effects different microbes have on different systems, and how certain microbes are integral to ecosystem health. Microbes are literally the foundation of all life, and they are everywhere. Microbiology For Dummies will help you understand them, appreciate them, and use them.

• Jennifer C. Stearns, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. She studies how we get our gut microbiome in early life and how it can keep us healthy over time.
• Michael G. Surette, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University, where he pushes the boundaries of microbial research.
• Julienne C. Kaiser, PhD, is a doctoral career educator.